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Services Building in Santa Coloma

Holder; Government of Andorra
Year; 2019

3rd prize of the Ideas Contest.


Project carried out with

Jacint Gil Rodríguez (GIL architecture)



The conceptual basis seeks the best idea and quality of the project possible within the requested and project conditions of the proposed service building.

The idea of the project is based on an identifying building and integrated in the current industrial and future environment with a modulation in smaller units and with metal, wood and prefabricated concrete.

It is a volumetric that gives presence and functionality to a program basically with a vocation to provide service to the citizen.

The implementation on the plot is conditioned by a linearity and adapted to the needs of the users, taking advantage of the environment, the circulations, the visuals and the sunlight in operational and interconnected volumes and taking advantage of the current unevenness to locate the underground parking.

A very important part in the project phase was the study of the section of the building and work has been done to achieve maximum natural light and to be able to obtain new lighting with the adaptability of the building if necessary in the future.

The building in a practical sense is a container of work spaces and takes advantage of natural lighting with its section to the maximum, even in the garages, workshops and necessary spaces.

The image of the project seeks to improve an environment now under development and give a compositional quality and progress of a new area. Its good location and predictable development and urbanization focuses on the quality and nobility of materials and on innovation in services.



The building adapts to the program and can function by areas or zones. This makes it possible to build it in 2 phases as required by the basic specifications.

In Phase 1, the excavation would be done up to the foundation and the building would include the car park, the garage, the workshops and warehouses and the support area (Maintenance of public buildings).

In Phase 2, the last 2 floors would be built with the Civil Protection (PC) and Emergency Operations Coordination Center (112) areas. A phase ready to be built with a possible fast and prefabricated metal structure process.

A functional, adaptable and modular building that makes it more effective and sustainable.



The surroundings of Santa Coloma is in the central valley of Andorra La Vella and based on the planned urbanization and streets, we will build the service building that is the subject of the competition on the selected plot.

Thus, based on the given streets, we get direct access to the garages and the parking lot and a large entrance at street level for pedestrians and users in the area of best access.

The building is connected between levels vertically with 2 areas of stairs and elevators with their routes and evacuation spaces.

Attached to the garages is another area for trucks for loading and unloading in order to reach the necessary material to the spaces on the ground floor and with elevators to the basement and also to the first floor. In this way, service is provided to warehouses, workshops and other dependencies.

The project is also designed to adapt to needs with functional intercommunication routes between spaces and outdoor garden areas to link events or calls, events, meetings and other activities.



The project provides as technical solutions to be able to develop in 2 phases a possible structural solution with prefabricated and modular concrete walls finished with wood in phase 1 and a possible modular construction with metal structure in phase 2.

Its envelopes are designed with a high degree of efficiency; the coatings with low CO2 emission with controlled industrialized materials and with wooden slats that bring warmth to the project are from fsc managed forests, with little waste of resources and energy in manufacturing and construction; minimize water consumption, waste generation and do not pollute. Very efficient both actively and passively with passivhouse standards in design and construction completed with heat recovery to obtain almost zero energy consumption.

Geothermal air conditioning with a heat pump is a cheap and ecological opportunity to produce heat and cold. It uses the energy that nature gives us for free. No CO2 is emitted, it is an inexhaustible source of energy, independent of external supply, low cost and with a project with good radiation zones and good insulation of the building, the system is complete.

In addition, with the level of the annexed river, the phreatic geothermal system is possible and is even more efficient, with less need for well depth (lower cost) and with stable temperatures of 7 to 12ºC even on icy winter days .

In the building of the project, an integration with the natural environment is considered with a typology of finishes in traditional materials and of the country's construction, such as wood that gives warmth, metal (lacquered aluminum sheet type Alucobond) and basically industrialized concrete, which together with the design of the building adapt to the site.

There are also outdoor garden areas that encourage outdoor activities and events and that help to minimize the impact of a building and that bring improvement as a natural element to an area full of roads at different levels and industrial buildings.

The building seeks to be energetically passive and sustainable, it aims to reduce environmental costs; minimize energy consumption in terms of perimeter insulation, roof insulation, more effective and continuous closures, but also achieving the tightness of the spaces to have a level of zero uncontrolled infiltrations.

In mountain areas where the climate is cold, good insulation of the enclosures and roofs is taken into account throughout the project and the best possible orientation of the spaces to be able to take advantage of the solar contributions to the maximum. The building wants to be rational in terms of energy to become energy efficient. In the covered area, you can take advantage of the good degree of sunshine (1,000,000 Wh/m²/year) with integrated solar panels to obtain low-cost energy.

The use in the project of "natural" materials such as stone, wood and vegetation as much as possible and other controlled parts of concrete, metal and glass, entails reasonable maintenance and environmental costs and the smallest possible ecological footprint.

The building seeks low energy consumption, taking advantage of natural heating, cooling and lighting sources with solar control as is the case with a curtain system integrated into the glass enclosure wall. Sustainable architecture must be an architecture with low energy consumption.

It is in its conception that the project seeks to be durable, accessible at different levels for maintenance and cleaning, adaptable, illuminated, removable and recyclable.

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